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Publication numberUS6542223 B1
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 09/628,885
Publication dateApr 1, 2003
Filing dateJul 31, 2000
Priority dateJul 29, 1999
Fee statusLapsed
Publication number09628885, 628885, US 6542223 B1, US 6542223B1, US-B1-6542223, US6542223 B1, US6542223B1
InventorsYoichi Okazaki
Original AssigneeYoichi Okazaki
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Scanning type exposure uniformizing system and method
US 6542223 B1
Abstract
In a scanning type exposure apparatus, an illumination light beam from a light source through an opening portion of a reticle blind is introduced onto a reticle. A pattern on the reticle is sequentially transferred onto the substrate by scanning the reticle and the substrate, respectively. The substrate is divided into a plurality of regions along a scanning direction. A variable unit for changing an opening area of the opening portion is arranged so as to substantially equalize integrated exposure quantity in each region.
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Claims(7)
What is claimed is:
1. A scanning type exposure apparatus in which an illumination light beam from a light source through an opening portion of a reticle blind is introduced onto a reticle, and a pattern on the reticle is sequentially transferred onto the substrate by scanning the reticle and the substrate, respectively, wherein:
the substrate is divided into a plurality of regions along a scanning direction;
the reticle blind comprises a surface defined by a plurality of rectangular apertures of varying dimensions adjacent to one another formed in said surface; and
a variable unit for changing an opening area of the opening portion of the reticle blind is arranged so as to substantially equalize integrated exposure quantity in each of the regions.
2. An apparatus as claimed in claim 1, wherein:
the variable unit is controlled in synchronism with the scanning of the reticle and the substrate.
3. A scanning type exposure apparatus in which an illumination light beam from a light source through an opening portion of a reticle blind is introduced onto a reticle, and a pattern on the reticle is sequentially transferred onto the substrate by scanning the reticle and the substrate, respectively, wherein:
the reticle blind forms the opening portion by overlapping a first light shielding plate with a second light shielding plate,
a side parallel to the scanning direction of the opening portion is constituted of one side of the opening portion formed in the first light shielding plate;
a length of a side perpendicular to the scanning direction of the opening portion of the reticle blind is determined on the basis of the second light shielding plate; and
wherein one said light shielding plate has a surface defined by a plurality of rectangular apertures of varying dimensions adjacent to one another formed in said surface.
4. An apparatus as claimed in claim 3, wherein:
a driving unit is arranged so as to drive either one of the first light shielding plate and the second light shielding plate in synchronism with the scanning of the reticle and the substrate.
5. An apparatus as claimed in claim 3, wherein:
the length is determined on the basis of an adjusting region provided at one side portion parallel to the scanning direction of the second light shielding plate.
6. An apparatus as claimed in claim 3, wherein:
the length is determined on the basis of adjusting regions provided at both side portions parallel to the scanning direction of the second light shielding plate.
7. A method of controlling scanning type exposure apparatus in which an illumination light beam from a light source through an opening portion of a reticle blind is introduced onto a reticle, and a pattern on the reticle is sequentially transferred onto the substrate by scanning the reticle and the substrate, respectively comprising the steps of:
moving the reticle and substrate from a first position to a second position;
changing an area of the opening portion of the reticle blind from a first area to a second area, and
variably controlling the opening portion of the reticle blind such that first integrated exposure quantity at the first position and second integrated exposure quantity at the second position becomes substantially constant on the substrate; and
wherein said reticle blind comprises a surface defined by a plurality of rectangular apertures of varying dimensions adjacent to one another formed in said surface.
Description
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

This invention relates to a scanning type exposure apparatus and, in particular, to a scanning type exposure apparatus for equalizing in-plane exposure quantity.

Referring to FIG. 1, a conventional scanning type exposure apparatus will first be described.

In FIG. 1, an exposure light beam 2 is outputted from a light source 1, such as a laser and a lamp. The exposure light beam 2 passes through an optical system 3, such as a lens, and is introduced into a substrate 4 on a substrate stage.

With such a structure, an exposure area is controlled by the use of a reticle blind 5. Further, the exposure light beam 2 irradiates a surface of the reticle 6. The exposure light beam 2 passing the reticle 6 illuminates the surface of the substrate 4.

In such a scanning type exposure apparatus, the reticle 6 is scanned in the direction indicated by the arrow illustrated in FIG. 1, while the substrate 4 is reversely scanned in synchronism with the reticle 6.

Under this circumstance, a pattern on the reticle 6 is sequentially transferred onto the substrate 4.

For example, this kind of scanning type exposure apparatus is disclosed in Japanese Unexamined Patent Publication No. Hei. 7-142313.

However, each illuminance is uniform in each region of the substrate having a wide area in the above-mentioned conventional scanning apparatus.

Consequently, it is difficult to accurately transfer the pattern when the pattern is further reduced in size.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

It is therefore an object of this invention to provide a scanning type exposure apparatus which is capable of keeping in-plane illuminance uniform in a substrate having a wide area.

It is another object of this invention to provide a scanning type exposure apparatus which is capable of accurately transferring a fine pattern.

In a scanning type exposure apparatus according to this invention, an illumination light beam from a light source through an opening portion of a reticle blind is introduced onto a reticle.

Further, a pattern on the reticle is sequentially transferred onto the substrate by scanning the reticle and the substrate, respectively.

Under this circumstance, the substrate is divided into a plurality of regions along a scanning direction.

Moreover, a variable unit for changing an opening area of the opening portion of the reticle blind is arranged so as to substantially equalize integrated exposure quantity in each region.

In this case, the variable unit is controlled in synchronism with the scanning of the reticle and the substrate.

In another scanning type exposure apparatus according to this invention, an illumination light beam from a light source through an opening portion of a reticle blind is introduced onto a reticle.

Further, a pattern on the reticle is sequentially transferred onto the substrate by scanning the reticle and the substrate, respectively.

With such a structure, the reticle blind forms the opening portion by overlapping a first light shielding plate with a second light shielding plate.

Further, a side parallel to the scanning direction of the opening portion constitutes one side of the opening portion formed in the first light shielding plate.

Moreover, the length of a side perpendicular to the scanning direction of the opening portion of the reticle blind is determined on the basis of the second light shielding plate.

In the scanning type exposure apparatus, a driving unit is arranged so as to drive either the first or second light shielding plate in synchronism with the scanning of the reticle and the substrate.

In this event, the length is determined on the basis of an adjusting region provided at one side portion parallel to the scanning direction of the second light shielding plate.

Alternatively, the length may be determined on the basis of adjusting regions provided at both side portions parallel to the scanning direction of the second light shielding plate.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows a conventional scanning type exposure apparatus;

FIG. 2A shows a scanning type exposure apparatus according to this invention;

FIG. 2B shows a state in which a first light shielding plate and a second light shielding plate are overlapped so as to control an opening portion of a reticle blind;

FIG. 3A is a plan view showing a state in which a substrate is divided into a plurality of regions;

FIG. 3B is a graph showing integrated exposure quantity for each region on a substrate;

FIG. 3C is a plan view showing a second shielding plate for adjusting exposure quantity; and

FIG. 4 is a plan view showing an alternative second shielding plate for adjusting exposure quantity.

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

Referring to FIG. 2 through FIG. 4, a scanning apparatus according to this invention will now be described.

An illumination light beam 2 from a light source 1 is introduced onto a reticle 6 via an opening portion 20 of a reticle blind 10 in the scanning type exposure apparatus.

With such a structure, a pattern on the reticle 6 is sequentially transferred onto the substrate 4 by scanning the reticle 6 and the substrate 4, respectively.

Under this circumstance, the substrate 4 is divided into a plurality of regions A through H along a scanning direction of the substrate 4, as shown in FIG. 3A.

Further, variable unit 30 of an opening portion area is arranged so as to change the opening area of the opening portion 20 of the reticle blind 10 to substantially equalize integrated exposure quantity in each region. Herein, the variable unit 30 is preferably composed of a first light shielding plate 11 having an aperture and a second light shielding plate 12 having a plurality of rectangular apertures of varying dimensions adjacent to one another.

In this condition, the variable unit 30 is controlled by synchronizing the reticle with the substrate 4 via a driving unit 13.

Further, the illumination light beam 2 from the light source 1 is introduced onto the reticle 6 via the opening portion 20 of the reticle blind 10. The pattern on the reticle 6 is sequentially transferred by scanning the reticle 6 and the substrate 4, respectively.

The reticle blind 10 forms the opening portion 20 by overlapping the first light shielding plate 11 with the second light shielding plate 12.

Under this circumstance, a side parallel to the scanning direction of the opening portion 20 constitutes one side 11 b of the opening portion 11 a formed in the first light shielding plate 11, as illustrated in FIG. 2B.

The length 12 b of a side perpendicular to the scanning direction of the opening portion 20 of the reticle blind is determined by the second shielding plate 12.

Moreover, the driving unit 13 drives either the first 11 or second 12 light shielding plate in synchronism with the scanning between the reticle 6 and the substrate 4.

The length 12 b of a side 20 a perpendicular to the scanning direction of the opening portion 20 of the reticle blind 10 is determined on the basis of an adjusting region 121 provided at one side portion parallel to the scanning direction of the second light shielding plate 12, as illustrated in FIG. 3C.

Alternatively, the length 12 b of the side 20 a perpendicular to the scanning direction of the opening portion 20 of the reticle blind 10 may be determined on the basis of adjusting regions 121 and 122 provided at both side portions parallel to the scanning direction of the second light shielding plate 12, as illustrated in FIG. 4.

Referring to FIG. 2 through 4, the scanning apparatus according to this invention will now be described in further detail.

The scanning type exposure apparatus of this invention differs from the conventional scanning type apparatus illustrated in FIG. 1 in the structure of the reticle blind.

In the scanning type exposure apparatus of this invention, integrated quantity is first calculated for each region A through H on the basis of in-plane illuminance data illustrated in FIG. 3B obtained by an illuminance sensor 7. Herein, it is to be noted that the illuminance sensor 7 is shown in FIG. 2A.

In this case, the region A has highest exposure quantity, as shown in FIG. 3B. Further, the exposure quantity sequentially becomes lower in order of the region F, the region B, the region E, the region G, the region C, the region H, and the region D, as illustrated in FIG. 3B.

In order to equalize the exposure quantity for each region A through H, a region 121 is provided so as to adjust the exposure quantity in the light shielding plate 12, as illustrated in FIG. 3C.

Thereby, the area of the opening portion 20 of the reticle blind 10 becomes variable when each region A through H is exposed. Consequently, the exposure quantity becomes constant on the substrate 4.

Therefore, the area of the opening portion 20 of the reticle blind 10 is smallest in the region A, in FIG. 3B. Further, the area of the opening portion 20 sequentially becomes larger in order of the region B, the region E, the region G, the region C, the region H, and the region D by adjusting the adjusting region 121 of the second light shielding plate 12.

In FIG. 2B, the area of the opening portion 20 is controlled based on the first light shielding plate 11 and the second light shielding plate 12 overlapping each other.

Under such a circumstance, the side of the scanning direction of the opening portion 20 is determined on the basis of the dimension 11 b of the opening portion 11 a.

The side 20 a perpendicular to the scanning direction of the opening portion 20 is determined based upon the length of the direction perpendicular the scanning direction of the opening portion 12 a of the second light shielding plate 12.

Therefore, the length 12 b is selected such that the integrated exposure quantity becomes constant in each region A through H.

Further, either one of the first light shielding plate 11 and the second light shielding plate 12 is scanned in the direction indicated by the arrow in synchronism with the scanning of the reticle 6 and the substrate 4.

Thereby, the integrated exposure quantity can be constantly controlled in each region A through H because the area of the opening portion 20 is variable.

A method of controlling the scanning type exposure apparatus of this invention will now be described.

The illumination light beam 2 from the light source 1 is introduced onto the reticle 6 through the opening portion 20 of the reticle blind 10, as illustrated in FIG. 2A.

The pattern on the reticle 6 is sequentially transferred on the substrate 4 by scanning the reticle 6 and the substrate 4, respectively.

Under this circumstance, the reticle 6 and substrate 4 are moved to a first position and a second position, respectively. In synchronism with this operation, the area of the opening portion 20 of the reticle blind 10 is changed from a first area to a second area.

Further, the opening portion 20 of the reticle blind 10 is variably controlled such that the integrated exposure quantity at the first position and the integrated exposure quantity become substantially constant on the substrate 4.

Thus, the exposure may be stably carried out on a substrate having a large area in a scanning type exposure apparatus consistent with this invention.

While this invention has thus far been disclosed in conjunction with several embodiments thereof, it will be readily possible for those skilled in the art to put this invention into practice in various other manners.

Patent Citations
Cited PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US5473410Jun 6, 1994Dec 5, 1995Nikon CorporationProjection exposure apparatus
US5591958Mar 27, 1996Jan 7, 1997Nikon CorporationScanning exposure method and apparatus
EP0614124A2Jan 31, 1994Sep 7, 1994Nikon CorporationExposure apparatus
EP0633506A1Jun 10, 1994Jan 11, 1995Nikon CorporationScanning exposure apparatus
EP0869396A2Mar 18, 1998Oct 7, 1998Svg Lithography Systems, Inc.Adjustable slit and method for varying line width
JPH0833020A Title not available
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Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7106418 *May 6, 2004Sep 12, 2006Hannstar Display CorporationScanning exposure method and an apparatus thereof
US7224438Dec 19, 2003May 29, 2007Asml Netherlands B.V.Method of manufacturing a device, device manufactured thereby, computer program and lithographic apparatus
US8085383Oct 27, 2005Dec 27, 2011Asml Holding N.V.System, method, and apparatus for scanning detector for fast and frequent illumination uniformity correction module
US20120088196 *Mar 25, 2011Apr 12, 2012Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd.Exposure apparatus, exposure method, and blind for exposure apparatus
Classifications
U.S. Classification355/67, 355/53
International ClassificationH01L21/027, G03F7/20
Cooperative ClassificationG03F7/70066, G03F7/70358, G03F7/70558
European ClassificationG03F7/70L4B, G03F7/70D2, G03F7/70F28
Legal Events
DateCodeEventDescription
May 29, 2007FPExpired due to failure to pay maintenance fee
Effective date: 20070401
Apr 1, 2007LAPSLapse for failure to pay maintenance fees
Oct 19, 2006REMIMaintenance fee reminder mailed
Feb 19, 2003ASAssignment
Owner name: NEC ELECTRONICS CORPORATION, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:NEC CORPORATION;REEL/FRAME:013736/0321
Effective date: 20021101
Owner name: NEC ELECTRONICS CORPORATION 1753 SHIMONUMABE, NAKA
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:NEC CORPORATION /AR;REEL/FRAME:013736/0321
Nov 20, 2000ASAssignment
Owner name: NEC CORPORATION, JAPAN
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNOR:OKAZAKI, YOICHI;REEL/FRAME:011304/0025
Effective date: 20001113
Owner name: NEC CORPORATION MINATO-KU 7-1, SHIBA 5-CHOME TOKYO